2/2/08

The Bucket List

Based on the dismal reviews, this was better than I expected, but still not up to snuff. I KNOW Director Rob Reiner ("The Princess Bride" and "When Harry Met Sally") can do better. The best thing about this movie --and this is no surprise -- was Morgan Freeman ("The Shawshank Redemption" and "Nurse Betty"). Even HE jokes during interviews about the word "gravitas" which is linked to his name and reputation, but some day they WILL give him a telephone directory to read and I'll show up, ticket money in hand...

The blame for the sappy script should be placed squarely on the shoulders of screenwriter Justin Zackham, but he has a fairly limited resume so far, maybe there is hope for future work from him.

As expected, Jack Nicholson ("About Schmidt" and "The Departed") slides by with yet another parody of himself: old, rich and horny.

The beginning and the end of this movie contain more than we want to know about terminal illness, hospitals and chemotherapy. The middle is what I call "A Depression Movie." During the Great Depression, Holly- wood realized that people who were desperately poor took great satis- faction in watching fabulously wealthy people live in extravagant homes, travel in luxurious comfort and yet fail to achieve inner happiness.

Of course the list is an itemization of things they should do before they "kick the bucket." Nicholson's wealth makes it possible: Freeman's wisdom makes it valuable.

In my opinion, these two duffers spend far too much time philosophizing about whether or not there is a God. The part I DID like about this movie was that Freeman's character was a frustrated history student and trivia buff, so interesting facts and unusual tidbits came in a constant stream... In addition, BOTH characters were inveterate readers, so I found myself peeking to see what book each was carrying in every scene.

I can't give this an enthusiastic thumbs up, but if you are really, really bored...